By Andria Kades
The Chinese are showing huge interest in Cyprus property according to online searches on Juwai.com, the property portal found in a study, revealing the sunny island was the most popular across the Mediterranean.
With Limassol and Paphos the most popular destinations within the island, the Juwai.com Purchasing Intent Index revealed potential Chinese property buyers were looking for real estate in Cyprus, followed by the other countries in the report; Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal and the EU in general during the second quarter of 2015.
“Chinese interest in Cyprus starts from a particularly low base, given the island’s small size and the difficulties that investors have faced there – due to the banking crisis, the title deeds scandal and allegations of overpricing,” the study said.
The average price for Chinese property hunters in Cyprus was $815,166 in the second quarter of 2015, down three per cent from the prior quarter’s average price of $837,687. This was one per cent less than last year’s value of $826,998 a year.
“The index for Cyprus has climbed highest, by 451 per cent for the period – albeit from a low starting point in absolute numbers. This trend points to growth in future property transactions by Chinese buyers which will benefit these hard-hit economies,” the study added.
It also revealed the index increased 102 per cent since the previous quarter and 351 per cent since last year.
The Juwai.com Purchasing Intent Index tracks online property hunting activity on Juwai.com, such as property searches, property detail page viewings, email inquiries, clicks to view agent phone numbers and more.
The data is not based specifically on transaction activity, but on the property hunt activity that precedes and leads to transactions.
Currently in China, President Nicos Anastasiades earlier this week announced Cyprus would create 15 authorised centres for processing visa applications in Chinese cities where there are no Cypriot diplomatic missions.
China’s state COSCO company is among several international companies interested in acquiring part of the operations of its main port at Limassol under a scheme to privatise state-owned businesses, according to the Chinese news agency Xinhua.
On Saturday, Anastasiades addressed the China Business Forum telling potential investors how Cyprus could become China’s gateway to Europe and Africa.
The forum was organised by the China Chamber of International Commerce, the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as the Cyprus-China Business Association.
Anastasides said the government was currently implementing a series of measures which included the simplification of procedures for the faster issuing of permits and licensing of investment projects and operation of businesses, as well as the speedier granting of residence permits to foreign investors.
“Opportunities for growth exist in the majority of economic sectors of Cyprus including commerce, tourism, privatisation of ports, electricity and telecommunications, shipping, real estate, large-scale development projects, education, health, research and innovation,” he said.
Touching on energy, Anastasiades said the discovery of natural gas reserves within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone created investment prospects in the energy sector and ancillary services. “Not surprisingly, the emerging oil and gas industry to be created on the island is expected to provide a significant boost to our economy, spearheading significant growth and driving numerous other sectors as well,” he said.
The renewable energy sector also has great potential for investment and growth, he said.
“Cyprus has a special interest in collaborating with China in the field of energy efficiency and the promotion of renewable energy sources. China, as a possessor of technology and a producer of Renewable Energy Systems for electricity generation, can offer valuable know-how regarding new technologies and the optimisation of existing systems, including energy storage.”
China could also provided know-how in helping Cyprus establish the first technological park at Pentakomo, the president added.
“We welcome and promote, of course, Chinese involvement in this project.”